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The Jersey Devil's Delight

MCCULLOUGH'S EMERALD GOLF LINKS
3016 Ocean Heights Avenue, Egg Harbor Township; 609-926-3900, mcculloughsgolf.com. Yardage: 6,535. Par: 71. Architect: Stephen Kay, 2002. Greens Fees: $25-$75.
T&L Golf Rating: *** 1/2
Garbage in, great golf out. Egg Harbor Township mayor James McCullough led the effort to convert a landfill into a golf course, and succeeded beyond all expectations. Each hole is inspired by a famous Irish, British or French predecessor. The eighth recalls the vertiginous tenth at Turnberry; the fifteenth, the fifth at Royal Dornoch. The par-four seventh offers two routes to the green and is based on the prize-winning entry in a 1914 contest to design a hole for C. B. Macdonald's Lido course on Long Island. The winner was a little-known Scotsman, Dr. Alister Mackenzie, soon to be famous on both sides of the Atlantic.

SEAVIEW MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA, Bay COURSE
401 South New York Road, Galloway Township; 609-748-7680, seaviewgolf.com. Yardage: 6,247. Par: 71. Slope: 122. Architects: Donald Ross, 1914; renovated by A. W. Tillinghast, 1927. Greens Fees: $49-$129.
T&L Golf Rating: *** 1/2
When the wind whips the marshy shore of Reeds Bay, Ross's wee links turns from shortbread to hardtack. His signature greens, small and crowned, seem to get smaller, and his bunkers bigger. Looming behind the first tee is the same giant sycamore that gazed down on Sam Snead when he won the 1942 PGA Championship by holing, in match play, a sixty-foot birdie chip on the thirty-fifth hole of the final round. The shrubs and saplings Ross planted have long since grown in, but the vistas across the water of the silvery Atlantic City skyline are still striking.

SEAVIEW MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA, Pines COURSE
401 South New York Road, Galloway Township; 609-748-7680, seaviewgolf.com. Yardage: 6,731. Par: 71. Slope: 128. Architects: Howard Toomey and William Flynn, 1929 (original nine); William Gordon, 1957 (second nine). Greens Fees: $49-$129.
T&L Golf Rating: *** 1/2
If the Bay is yin, the Pines is yang: parkland rather than links, each hole enclosed by phalanxes of tall trees, more muscular and pulse-quickening at first sight. When Toomey and Flynn designed the original nine, they had recently revised parts of Merion and were soon to reinvent Shinnecock Hills, and purists yelped in the eighties when three of Gordon's holes were sacrificed to build a range and golf school and another was shortened to increase the number of hotel rooms. But this radical surgery saved the patient and enabled Seaview to emerge after a multimillion-dollar renovation in the nineties as a AAA-rated four-diamond resort. The course is still stimulating and a pleasure to play.

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